Murder Charges Stand in Fatal Crash Case

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TAYLOR -- A hearing was held in Lackawanna County Friday for a woman who, in a rare move, was charged with murder after a crash that killed two women in Taylor.

A judge decided that there is enough evidence to take Sherry Hubert of Taylor to trial on two third degree murder charges.

Hubert's attorney said he's hoping to come up with plea agreement to a lesser charge instead.

Part of the evidence heard Friday was from the children that were riding with Hubert when the crash happened in July.

For the first time since July 21, the family of the two women who were just on their way to the store heard testimony of everything that had happened that day that lead to the deadly crash.

Kim Smith was driving the Ford, she was killed instantly. Her friend and passenger, Lydia Riley, died a few days later at the hospital.

"They lost loved ones and they're just in a tough place. You know, time kind of stands still so they're having a tough time with this," said Assistant District Attorney Robert Klein of the victims' family.

The other driver was Sherry Hubert, 45, of Taylor. According to court papers, toxicology tests found Hubert had a blood alcohol content three times over the legal limit and was high on marijuana.

Hubert had three children in the car with her at the time of the crash. The children told police Hubert was drinking in the car and going more than 90 miles per hour down Oak Street in Taylor before colliding with Kim Smith's ford.

A 17-year-old girl described in court, "She said she had it under control. When we hit the car I closed my eyes. When I woke up all I saw was the air bag. The drink, the Four Loko, was spilled all over me. I saw {him} outside the car and he said 'Come on we have to help these people.' We ran over to the car and that's when we saw the driver. She was already dead."

Sherry Hubert faces a slew of charges including two counts of third degree murder. Prosecutors admit that's a rare move in a fatal crash case, but said it's appropriate this time.

Hubert's attorney disputes the murder charge.

"She is willing to take full responsibility for her actions. But, the District Attorney's office needs to be more reasonable in their plea offers to her," said Jason Shrive, Hubert's attorney.

In court Friday a judge decided to keep Sherry Hubert's murder charges. If attorneys don't reach a plea deal, Hubert could go to trial in a few months.